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33

This question cuts to the core of an apparent conflict between the teachings of James and Paul. Here's some of the relevant scripture: James 2:17-18, 24 (NIV) 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you ...


16

First a disclaimer, I come from the camp that salvation is by faith alone. The answer will be coming from my perspective, since the question seems to be geared toward those who hold this view. It also intentionally goes against the definition of Christianity as accepted for the sake of this community because I think that it's the only way to address the ...


13

Pauline-Lutheran answer According to Paulus and later Luther's doctrine, faith is enough – it's the famous Justification by faith alone. Realizing that, Luther changed from a late scholastic to a reformer. The realization is based on Romans 1:17 (NIV), which says: For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith ...


10

I would have to say No. Jesus said in Matthew 6:20 (NIV): But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Here, he indicates that you should work towards heavenly treasures. Furthermore, he encouraged here, in Matthew 19:21 (NIV) Jesus answered, “If you want to ...


10

The answer is very simple if you understand causality.  If the cause is faith then the effect must be good works.   Another effect of faith is justification. (Ephisans 2:8-9) Thus justification is caused by faith not by works. However a good tree that produces bad fruit can not be called good. In the same way faith does not exist without producing good ...


7

Judged according to what they had done, echos... Have a look at any of the other verses that talk about the day of Judgement, they all speak about what a person did in the flesh. They all mention "works" in some fashion. Revelation 20:11-13 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, ...


7

Since the "faith alone" viewpoint has been well represented thanks to @DavidStratton, I will propose an additional diagram that doesn't fit into either of the two in the question, This is the view posited by Eastern Orthodox Christianity. I will abbreviate Eastern Orthodox as EO for the remainder of this response. Rather than a Venn diagram including faith ...


7

Firstly, what is "to love God"? When you love God, probably you won't do things, which can harm him. To love God really is so big love, that maybe is better to give you another example also. When you love your kids, you'll try to please them, help them, protect them and so on. Some laws to protect children in your country are totally unnecessary. You need ...


7

Absolutely, definitely not. Works are important, but we are not justified by works. The Catechism states this unequivocally: 161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation.42 “Since ‘without faith it is impossible to please [God]’ and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, ...


6

This is a Latter-Day Saint perspective. From the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. Nephi is an accepted ancient prophet in the LDS religion. The whole ...


6

This isn't truly an "answer" to the question so to speak, so please excuse my butting in here. I think it may be helpful, however, for future readers, to do a small deconstruction of this argument from the perspective of a sola fide belief system. I'm still interested in the other perspectives as well. While logically, the gambit seems to make sense, it ...


6

You say "a person would be considered righteous by their deeds and not just their faith". I'm not sure this is a necessary reading of the Biblical passage. You quote 2.24: I think verse 18 is more useful for interpreting James' account of the relationship between faith and works: But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your ...


5

The thief on the cross is easily misunderstood if you conflate Paradise with Heaven, but the two are not the same. (Compare John 20:17--Jesus, post-resurrection, has not yet been to Heaven, despite spending time in Paradise.) Paul's writings on the subject also require a proper understanding of the context. He was speaking to Jews who believed in the Law ...


5

No. It would not be a sin, necessarily, but simply an incorrect assumption. It may be a sin to teach this, however, because it is contrary to the teachings of Scripture, and you would be leading your brothers and sisters astray. Consider what is said in Romans 3:27-28: 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that ...


5

Here's the Arminian perspective: Background First, a little background. Jacobus Arminius was a Reformed theologian who eventually became convinced that Calvin's views of predestination and unconditional election made God the author of evil. His reasoning was that if God controls all our choices and does not give us free will, then even our wrong choices ...


5

St. Augustine was referring to the mind that has been "conformed to God" as described in Reading "Mere Christianity" and having a hard time with book III, chapter 12. This is based on established doctrine, common to most denominational views, of Sanctification. Progressive sanctification "Indeed, the more sanctified the person is, the ...


4

We ask "is it okay to _" because many Christians were raised on moral religiosity instead of principles of Christian decision making. Based on the second greatest commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), Jesus calls everyone to love every human being they come into contact with (including themselves). And to love means to seek what ...


4

Yes. Righteousness is absolutely a prerequisite for salvation. However, no one is righteous (Romans 3:10). No one, that is, except Jesus. And He offers to give us His righteousness in exchange for our sins: 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Click here for more ...


4

The answer is NO. The reason we need salvation in the first place is because we can't be righteous; by nature we are law-breakers (Romans 3:10f). The only God way we can be righteous is if God gives it to us. Salvation involves us being 'justified' (i.e. we are declared to be "not guilty") before God thus making us righteous (Romans 1:16, 3:20-26). We ...


4

I think the key thing here is understanding what it means to "sow to flesh" and "sow to the Spirit". The difference (referencing Bob Utley's commentary) is the key difference between the two basic approaches to being right with God: our own effort, or God's free grace. The former (sowing to flesh) refers to trying to be right by God by trying to work ...


4

I believe that the demographic for your gambit would object on a couple of grounds. Firstly, they would object to sacrificing integrity in choosing to believe something that one does not actually believe. Secondly, they would object to your premise: If you are saved by grace, you should want to serve God as heartily and fully as possible, loving him ...


3

Hah, when I first heard about this theory, I thought it made sense. but to God, it does not. You may have heard about the story of two sinners who were hanged left and right of Jesus, where one sinner did not repent, however the other one did, and became the first one to enter the paradise with Jesus. IMO, I think the creater of this Gambit heard about this. ...


3

I would just like to expand on @Dan O'Day's comments regarding the catholic (lower-case c) perspective on faith and works. In the Roman rite of Christian Orthodoxy (aka Roman Catholic), the concept of salvation is explained by sola gratia (as in salvation only by grace), rather the the sola fide doctrine conceived by Martin Luther. If one is truly coporating ...


3

The act of believing in salvation by grace is itself a work. I cannot accept the wager; grace must be accepted via a work, 'working together with faith', as St. James puts it. Secondly, this makes a weird dichotomy that I'm not sure how to parse. Who are the people who believe in Salvation by Works? Do you mean Roman Catholics? I'm pretty sure they ...


3

There's a simpler answer than all of the others: In Sum, why not believe in salvation by grace? Because you don't just choose what you believe. You believe things because you think they're true. So, even if this argument was valid, it wouldn't be useful, because it recommends a choice that you don't control. The same applies to Pascal's Wager.


3

Even though this is a very simplistic way of explaining these views, and there are nuances of understanding and shades of belief that fall between these three, I really don't see anything incorrect about your summary. This does seem to accurately sum up three major views on salvation, each of which are based on Scripture, but with a different ...


2

If you reject Pascal's Gambit, then you should also reject Thomas' Gambit(tm) for the same reason: it is incomplete. Premise 1) You desire Salvation. Premise 2) There is a chance that belief in Grace provides Salvation. Premise 3) If belief in Grace does not provide Salvation, then doing Good Works provide Salvation. Conclusion: One can achieve Salvation ...


2

Yes, the two doctrines are quite different, you cannot be saved by your works, but there must be works with your faith for you to find salvation. In other words, it's not the works that saves your soul, but without the works your faith is in vain and of none effect. If I keep telling you that I believe the chair in front of us will hold me up, but I never ...


2

I think these kind of questions often betray a deeper problem: a lack of understanding of the primary importance questions of doctrine that you mention. They often stem from an understanding of Christianity as a set of cultural norms or a rulebook of right and wrongs instead of hearts that have been remade from stone to flesh. I do think it is valid that ...


2

Pertinent Bible verses John 8:12 (ESV) 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Matthew 16:24-26 (ESV) 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For ...



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